Living a Spiritual Life

Jesus says, “Be careful not to practice your piety in front of others to be seen by them… [give alms, pray, fast] in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:1-18).    These acts of piety–righteousness–spirituality–that Jesus speaks are visible.   They are visible because they are a part of the one who practices them.   Maybe Jesus’ word about secrecy is more a word about authenticity: Be authentic when you practice spiritually.   To be authentic in the way that you express and live out your spiritual life amongst others means there are no boundaries to our spiritual life and “everyday” life.   To be authentic means that we are who we are.   If we are authentic we are not bothered by what others think.   But authenticity is even more than just “not caring about what others think,” it is the ability to live into the truth of one’s self.  Namely, that we are authentic and real to the situation that we find ourselves in.   To live an authentic, spiritual life requires one to step outside their box… to step outside themselves… to be truly and authentically you.   But that does not mean that we neglect others, or that we are so self-centered and focused on ourselves that we forget God and each other.   The authenticity of our spiritual practices does not exist in our ability to be ourselves; the authenticity of our spiritual practices exists in our ability to approach God as we are… to approach each other as we are.  By approaching we do these spiritual tasks not as “we must do these things in order to be seen by God and each other,” rather we do these things because we are these things.